The Minimalist Baker’s Queso Dip. Friends had us over to gawk at their beautiful baby (not their intention, but the inevitable result when said baby is preternaturally cute and dances (well) upon request). They added to the festivities a dish of really wonderful eggplant based nacho cheese-like dip. Sorry, no pictures. I (mostly) keep my phone in my pocket when socializing.
I’ve stumbled upon the Minimalist Baker before, but searching my memory banks (my blog), it doesn’t look like I’ve made use of any of their recipes. Recognizing a great recipe is a good part of being a good cook and our friend nailed it, while I browsed right by.
The dip. The texture is amazing. Perfect creaminess if a bit light (cheese sauce is so fat filled you’d have a hard time pouring that much oil into an analog but I might be tempted to try). The flavor was spot on. The eggplant flavor hid well and the added flavors were just perfect for queso dip (salt, a little heat, and some nutritional yeast for cheesiness).
The only “tell” you weren’t eating cow secretion sauce is that this dip’s color tended toward purply eggplant instead of orangy cheese. You wouldn’t know that from the pictures on the Minimalist Baker’s site. Their dip is clearly orange. Makes me wonder if they ooched a few sliders in Photoshop. Gentle shame on them if they did. I understand wanting to get people in your camp with tantalizing photos (and theirs are fully tantalizing), but I lean toward keeping it real so as not to build false expectations.
I also understand why you’d call this analog a queso dip (some vegans, myself included, get really excited for well executed analogs), but the name may do the dish a disservice. Call it “creamy eggplant dip” or “other than baba ganoush eggplant dip” and your first taste would bring up only three cheers, whereas the first taste of the dish called queso brings up feelings of very nearly there. Still, the dip does a really good job of standing in for queso and it would be harder to find this use of the recipe if it were categorized under eggplant. That’s really the genius of the recipe–eggplant for cheese sauce.
Big respect to Minimalist Baker. Big respect to our friend for making this for us. Thanks so much.
Other topics–I hate coming off of daylight savings time. My body knows it is 7:47 and I am raring to go but there is little chance I will get my girls up and at it at 6:47 on a Sunday. Sighs. I’ll get over it. Be well.